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Kings Cliffe

Military site : airfield

Kings Cliffe began as a satellite air base for the Group based at nearby Wittering. The 56th Fighter Group, however, were all based at Kings Cliffe and it was here that the pilots trained in P-47 Thunderbolts and flew their first missions in the aircraft.

The 56th Fighter Group moved on to Horsham St. Faiths in April 1943 and the air base was used by the RAF until August when another American Fighter Group, the 20th, moved in. This time, there was not sufficient accommodation for all of the Group's personnel at Kings Cliffe so when additional blocks were being built, some of them had living quarters at Wittering.

Kings Cliffe was the furthest west of any Eighth Air Force bases and this made long escort missions that much harder for the pilots.

Detailed history

Not yet known

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 20th Fighter Group

    20th Fighter Group

    Group
    In August 1943, the 20th Fighter Group arrived in Clyde, Scotland, before travelling to Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, which was to be their base for the rest of the war. The Group flew 312 missions before their last mission on 25 April 1945. The...

  • 97th Service Group
  • 56th Fighter Group

    56th Fighter Group

    Group
    Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...

  • 350th Fighter Group

    350th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 350th Fighter Group was always intended to join the Twelfth Air Force in the North African campaign as a tactical fighter organisation, using P-39 Airacobras in ground attacks. The pilots flew practice missions from the UK before flying their...

  • 18th Weather Squadron

    18th Weather Squadron

    Squadron
    Browse 18th Weather Squadron photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here: www.2ndair.org.uk/digitalarchive/Dashboard/Index/60

  • 384th Service Squadron
  • 44th Station Complement Squadron
  • 77th Fighter Squadron
  • 79th Fighter Squadron
  • Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron (20th Fighter Group)

People

  • Louis Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 77FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Credited with 7 victories, Bf109[3], Me410[1], D018[1], Ar196[1], Fw190[1]. End Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: AM (6 OLC), DFC (OLC), Silver Star, WWII Victory.

  • Frederick Alexander

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot-Twin Engine | 20th Fighter Group
    77th FS 20th FG 2 air and 6 ground kills.

  • Denis Alison

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine | 20th Fighter Group
    77th FS 20th FG MIA Nov. 1, 1944 MACR 10236 19 combat missions 82:10 combat hours. P-51D s/n 44-14378 LC+A "Murph"

  • Brooks Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. End of war.

  • John Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 61st FS, 56th FG on 1 November 1944 and transferred to 79th FS, 20th FG on 28th September 1945.

  • DeLynn Anderson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 55FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to HQ Sqn, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed (End) Tour of Duty (ETD). Returned to 55FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF for 2nd tour. Squadron C/O. End of War (EOW). ...

  • Earl Anderson

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. End of War (EOW). ...

  • Neal Archer

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. On his thrid mission he was attacked and shot down by seven Bf109's on bomber escort mission to Northern France in P-38J 42-67760 14-Jan-44. Crashed near Louviers. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 1855.

  • John Armstrong

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Credited 1 x Fw190 destroyed. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission to Bad Kreuznach, left formation in P-51D 'Guardian Angel' 44-13791 trailing white smoke and baled out. 28-Aug-44. Pilot 1st Lt John L Armstrong...

  • Charles Arthaud

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 20th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 77FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Credited with 1/2 BF109, 1.5 Fw190. Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (4 OLC), WWII Victory, EAME. Post War: Remained in USAF till 1965.

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Aircraft

  • 41-2578 Butcher Shop/ Big Tin Bird

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Boeing B-17E ...

  • 42-104086 'Strictly Stella's Baby' ' Lucky Lady'

    P-38 Lightning
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Major Rufus C Franklin. Re-assigned to Lt Arthur W Heiden when 'R C' was moved to HQ. Transferred to 402FS, 370FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) armed recce to Malmedy, hit by flak whilst...

  • 42-106467

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 77FS 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 486FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) fighter sweep to Budapest, pulling clear of the target engine noted to be smoking, after which it quit. Lt Andrew belly landed and then sprinted clear...

  • 42-67016

    P-38 Lightning
    P-38H-5-LO 42-67016 was assigned to 20FG/77FS at Kings Cliffe, UK. On 29-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT John S. Hascall, was despatched as a spare with other P-38 from 73FG to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. The aircraft was attacked...

  • 42-67039

    P-38 Lightning
    P-38H-5-LO 42-67039 was assigned to 20FG/79FS at Kings Cliffe, UK. On 7-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by CPT Herbert W. Cumming, was flown to Nuthampstead to join with other P-38s from 55FG on a mission to escort B-26 bombers of 9th Air Force in an...

  • 42-67646 'Kentucky Kernel'

    P-38 Lightning
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Major DeLynn Anderson. Failed to Return (FTR) bomber escort to Brunswick. Shot down Devanter, Holland Lt Mack D Fall baled out POW. 30-Jan-44. MACR 2102.

  • 42-67735

    P-38 Lightning
    Assigned to 77FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. One of a flight of four P-38's attacking, in trail formation, a Me210 when another P-38J [42-67828] collided with this P-38J and they both crashed near Koblenz. 29-Jan-44. Pilot 2nd Lt Robert Flynn Killed in Action ...

  • 42-67862

    P-38 Lightning
    Assigned to 79FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Detached service with RAF unit on long range escort trials out of RAF Little Snoring. Failed to Return (FTR) night intruder mission to Ijmuiden Lt James H Corbet Killed in Action (KIA). 12-Apr-44 MACR 3750.

  • 42-68035

    P-38 Lightning
    P-38J Serial # 42-68035 of 20th Fighter Group / 79th Fighter Squadron. Piloted by 1st Lt Ferdinand E. Le Fevre (also spelled Lefevre) on the 28 April 1944 mission to strafe-bomb the Tours airfield. Just after dropping its bombs, Lt Le Fevre's Lightning...

  • 42-68131 Murph III

    P-38 Lightning

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2015 15:47:47 Lucy May Changes to known as and description
Sources

Added alternative spelling 'Kingscliffe'.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:17 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Roger Freeman, Airfields of the Eighth Then And Now (London, 1978)

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